On Thursday at the Villages to sign the 2012 budget, Governor Rick Scott used the line item veto to eliminate 87% of the “Turkeys” identified by Florida TaxWatch. The “Turkey List” annually identifies those dubious projects that are slipped into bills under cover of darkness – sometimes in confernce committees, sometimes by the leadership after the conference delivers their bill. Used by the more influential legislators to “bring home the bacon” to their districts, these “Turkeys” are the Florida equivalent of earmarks in the US Congress – those questionable appropriations that the Republicans in Washington have sworn to eliminate.
To his credit, our local Representative Pat Rooney did not participate, and when asked about the practice at an RCPB lunch this week he indicated he thought their use was questionable, even if some projects did benefit their communities.
See the whole story in “Scott Line-Item Vetoes Parallel TaxWatch ‘Turkeys'” in the Sunshine State News.
On May 25th, the Republican Club of the Palm Beaches was pleased to welcome state representative Pat Rooney at its monthly luncheon. Representative Rooney provided a summary of the 2011 legislative session, including its highs and lows and some of the initiatives most directly affecting South Florida. Most notably, Representative Rooney discussed the Republicans’ successful efforts to trim burdensome government spending in order to promote the creation of private sector jobs, offset the ever-increasing federal tax burdens on Floridians, and propel Florida’s economy out of the ongoing recession. He also discussed the passage of a bill designed to help balance Florida’s long term budget by requiring state employees to fund a small portion of their own pensions. He expressed great optimism about the opportunities to solve the challenges of illegal immigration while also recognizing the complex impact that any such solution will have on Florida’s agricultural industry and the overall economy.
As a businessman, Pat described the frustrations of being a freshman legislator working through the considerably different world of lawmaking, and some thoughts of how to improve the process, including his proposal for using video conferencing to connect the lawmakers from the southern part of the state during committee time, to make more efficient use of everyone’s time.
Although the session was somewhat contentious, and much was sandwiched into the last few weeks, there were some good things to emerge. In Pat’s view these included saving some funding for libraries and the disabled, FRS reform, and the bill to curb pill mill abuses.
Representative Rooney also took part in the Club’s ceremony awarding the 2011 Anne Roberts Memorial Scholarship. This year, the scholarship was awarded to four deserving candidates who are in the process of pursuing their college degrees. Representative Rooney and the entire Club were pleased to recognize all four candidates for their academic accomplishments and their embodiment of Republican values.
There were four scholarship winners this year, each receiving a check for $500, and the awards were announced by surprise guest (via video recording) Congressman Allen West.
Receiving the scholarships were John Clark, Shirley Schaff, Kimberly Twoey, and Jason Ferrara. Click here for the Press Release – ARM Scholarship 2011
Pictures courtesey of Delia Garcia-Menocal.
Welcome Representative Rooney with a post session wrap up. Freshman Representative and RCPB member Pat Rooney will be the featured speaker on May 25th at noon. Additionally, RCPB will be announcing the 2011 recipients of the Anne Roberts Memorial Scholarship.
We’re expecting a packed house, so please be sure to reserve your seat.
RSVP email@example.com or by calling 561-804-4591